What am I doing?

I know I’m kind of all over the place a lot of the time. Situations change, minds change. But I thought it would be good to clear up, at the very least for future me, what I’m actually doing right now.

  • New Rules of Lifting Supercharged: started Basic Training II today. Training 3 times a week.
  • Walking: 8.5km every day, weather permitting.
  • Running: Started Couch to 5K again. Doing this every other day, integrating it into my 8.5km walking route. Weather permitting.
  • Diet: 1500 calories or around 6000 kilojoules daily. Focusing on protein, my macro split is 35% protein, 35% fat, 30% carbs. Also focusing on real meat and vegetables (non-processed, generally, so no Sizzler sausages or chicken nuggets), and the occasional bit of home baking. Protein powders and bars are okay though. Eating out once or twice a week, as long as it stays under my kilojoule limit.

More detail about food, as per my selfish desire to write about food

I’ve been eating things like burgers, KFC, sushi, and curries when we’ve eaten out recently. I’m not going to worry much about it, because I really enjoy these foods, and as long as I can make it work with my kilojoules, I can have them. Tony and I have finally discovered the amazingness that is Big J’s, which is a burger takeaway place a short drive away. It looks like a skody takeaway shop in an average suburb, but what comes out of there are the best burgers we have ever had. Basically, all I want to write about is the delicious crust on their meat patties – it’s dark, crispy, and flavoursome. I’ve never had a burger so masterful.

But I think this means it’s time for me to buy some groceries, because we haven’t got much fit food in the house right now and I am yet to have breakfast.


NROL: Supercharged, Basic Training I

I’m mostly through the first stage of Supercharged, Basic Training I. I’m getting a lot of throwbacks to New Rules of Lifting For Women, and that’s because a lot of the exercises are the same, and the structure is very similar.

The unusual thing about it is that core work comes first. It’s followed by either a power much like jump squats, or a combination move like lunge and press. Then comes what I consider the “real work”: the alternating sets. And finally the interval training.

At the moment it is the perfect workout level for me. I am definitely challenged, especially with the interval training at the end. I get pretty sweaty and I push my weights if I feel up to it.

My ankle has been a limiting factor, especially in squatting exercises, so I’ve been giving myself a lot of leniency on those. Squats have always been a problem exercise. My quads still get very tight, even after my 7 min cycle warmup, and I’ve even taken to foam rolling them before the workout as well as after just to try to loosen them up a little.

On the other hand, I’ve really been taken with kettlebell swings. Initially I had them as a power exercise, but now I use them as my interval training. It’s so much more fun than just cycling. I’m hoping to have mighty hams by the end of the programme.

I have about a week left on Basic Training I before I start Basic Training II. Should be good.

Last Day of March

I’ve been fretting (to put it lightly) about my lack of progress in March. March has been a bad month for the scales, and a very bad month mentally.

In the past week I’ve seriously tightened my kilojoule count. EVERYTHING that doesn’t come out of a packet is weighed on my food scale to the closest gram. EVERYTHING I put in my mouth goes onto My Fitness Pal. FINALLY I am seeing a slight downward movement. Today I was the lowest I’ve been since I started my calorie counting: 64.2kg. It’s not much of a change as I’ve been sitting around 64.5kg for the past week, and before that had sat on 65kg for about 3 weeks. As I keep saying, I hope this is part of a downward trend.

Foodwise, I’ve decided to keep my favourite things like barbacoa, but instead serve it on cooked veg instead of tortillas. I am not really big on salady stuff, especially lettuce, but I bought a big bunch of silverbeet, spinach, portabello mushrooms, green beans and courgettes, which I’ll cook up instead of having the usual corn tortillas. The feijoas on the tree out front are becoming ripe too, and I look forward to adding them to my daily diet.

I’ve done a lot of flip-flopping on programmes, as usual. I have started Supercharged again, initially to support Tony, but now we have decided to sort out our fitness separately. I enjoy the Supercharged workouts much more than LiveFit, so hopefully I’ll actually stick with it. Thanks to Supercharged, and my inability to do squat jumps right now, I learned the kettleball swing yesterday. That might become part of my metabolic workout.

I also discovered that the dog park is a pretty good walk from home. A round trip, including a walk around the park, is about 8km. That is definitely making it into my regular exercise regimen. I managed to complete a full Supercharged workout yesterday (including the metabolic workout, which is pretty much interval training), and then later do the 8km walk and still eat less than my allotted 5024 kilojoules/1200 calories. My ankle is still in pain so when it’s better I’ll be able to do more – maybe even running again.

I suppose I should start thinking about goals for April now too. I succeeded in finally seeing my doctor, seeing my osteo, and joining a gym. What will the next steps be, I wonder?

Neala and Tony Go To The Gym

Well, we made it. The alarm went off at 6am, and after the five-minute snooze and a few last-minute dashes, we made it out the door and into the gym at 6:40. I think.

We planned to just muck around, as this was pretty much Tony’s first time in the gym. With only 20 minutes, all we got to do was cycle and do some lat pulldowns. But since neither of us are particularly fit, that was probably enough for the first day.

The gym is the same as ever. I suppose there are a couple of differences – one is that they now have free Wifi for members (yusss) and they have gotten rid of the broken cycles (also yusss).

We’ll be doing New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged on the hypertrophy track. This weekend we’ll be picking out the exercises we want to do for Basics I. Then I hope on Monday we’ll get started.

I’m feeling better today than normal, despite the early wake up. I was up late-ish last night. This isn’t really fitness related, but I’m kind of bent on getting a puppy. I’ve come across a breeder I really like, and naturally had to spend several hours last night reading about each of their dogs and deciding which one I’d like to have my future puppy. It’s a pretty doubtful wish at the moment, because very few landlords in Auckland will allow dogs. But I am so keen to have this cute little puppy, and go through the training and the socialising and she can come on my walks and runs with me, and we’ll go hiking and then when she’s grown, see if she enjoys agility and if she wants to become a Wonder Dog. That is my puppy dream. I feel a bit like Bernard and his summer girl, but of course the puppy will be a forever dog. I’d love a best friend.

Second workout in!

That deserves a post, surely. It’s been pretty hard to get out of bed this week, especially with classes on Monday and Tuesday night (we were there until 21:10 last night, I had dinner at 21:50). I did make it to the gym this morning, and even did all my foam rolling after.

After my workout today, I am pretty hungry and very sleepy. Hurry up, lunch time!

For lunches, I really like packet soups. The premade kind, not the kind you reconstitute. I’ve found that Naked Cuisine make some delicious ones, and they have a pretty good range so I never get bored. I’ve also found out they do curries too! Tony and I tried out the Massaman Thai Curry last night, and it was actually good. Thai ranks highly on my list of “least favourite cuisines”, so this is saying something. I am planning on trying the North Indian curry and the Singaporean Laksa very soon!

The start of Supercharged

Someone, possibly Lou Schuler, said that when you lift, you learn something about yourself. I learned a lot today.

After a week of procrastinating, I went to the gym this morning. I started New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged, doing the sample workout for Basic I. It’s very similar in format to New Rules of Lifting for Women. The exercises are nothing scary, although push ups receive my hatred like almost no other exercise.


Some of the things I learned included:

  • As expected after abdominal surgery, my core is weak. My right side is especially difficult with side planks, though I am not sure if it is exceptionally weak or if it is just that the pain from the appendix site makes it hard to perform the exercise with any sort of longevity.
  • Push ups, even with hands elevated on a Smith machine, are hard. Unfortunately that means I need to work on them.
  • Box jumps aren’t so bad! Apart from jarring my appendix side pains on landings, they are quite fun.
  • My quads popped out after some squats. Yay! They’re still there!

It’s easy to forget just how good exercising makes me feel. It’s more than the smugness of actually going to the gym. After I exercise, I feel more awake. Despite using a lot of energy at the gym, for the rest of the day I don’t feel like falling asleep at my desk. I feel happier in general, and I feel like I want to keep exercising. I think going to the gym is one of the easier habits for me to get back into. The only issue now is if my appendix site gives me more grief. Let’s hope it stays put!